Sutter Lakeside Leaders Reflect on Rural Health
LAKEPORT, Calif. — Lake County is a wonderful place to live and work, but it’s also home to a host of healthcare challenges. On National Rural Health Day – November 16 – Leeann Hadgis, Director of Sutter Lakeside Ambulatory Clinics and Dan Peterson, Chief Administrative Officer for Sutter Lakeside Hospital reflect on successes the community can celebrate and reaffirm Sutter’s commitment to caring for Lake County residents.
Location, Location, Location
Rural residents know that sometimes just getting to a clinic is tough. Currently Sutter operates two rural health clinics: Sutter Lakeside Family Medicine Clinic at 5176 Hill Road East and Sutter Lakeside Community Clinic at 5196 Hill Road East, Suite 300 in Lakeport. Together these clinics provide primary care to 10,000 patients a year and allow many more patients to see specialists in the disciplines of cardiology, podiatry, obstetrics and sports medicine.
“I am incredibly proud of the care delivered at these two care centers and even more delighted to announce that next year we will be able to serve our community better. In April 2018 our Family Medicine Clinic will relocate to a new facility in Lakeport – at Creekside Medical Plaza off of Highway 29” said Hadgis.
The new facility will offer a modern and relaxing atmosphere thanks to the work of a design team from Boulder Associates and photography from local artists. The building’s convenient location – right in town – will make it easier for families to access providers and receive comprehensive care. New features include a private consultation room where a diabetes educator can meet with patients and an on-site phlebotomist who can draw a patient’s blood for diagnostic tests right after an appointment.
Time is of the Essence
Traveling to the doctor’s office isn’t the only challenge rural residents face. Physicians are sometimes booked so far in advance that it’s nearly impossible to get an appointment. “At Sutter Lakeside’s clinics our goal is to get you an appointment with your primary doctor no later than 2 days from the day you call – and we’ve made some important changes to meet this goal” Hadgis said.
Every day Sutter Lakeside’s clinics have 4 appointments – per primary care provider – reserved for same day scheduling. “We also prioritize personalized care – which means that 85% of the time you will see your provider, who you have history with and who knows you” said Peterson. This emphasis on “continuity of care” is not only better for each patient, it also creates additional capacity, because people tend to need fewer follow-up visits if they are seen by the same doctor every time.
Sutter Lakeside’s focus on scheduling is the result of their participation in a 10 month Advanced Access Collaborative, sponsored by Partnership Health Plan. “Learning and adopting new ways of working is just one way we are pioneering better care for our community” Peterson said. To read more about Sutter Lakeside Hospital and its two rural health clinics visit www.sutterhealth.org/lakeside